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Celebrating a Major Financial Milestone!

Early tomorrow morning our family is flying to California to visit some special friends of ours.

We're very excited about this trip for many reasons: we're looking forward to a vacation as a family; we can't wait to hang out with some incredible people; and we're anxious to get to introduce our children to what a real beach is.

But this trip is about much more than family, friends, and fun; we're taking this trip in celebration of reaching a huge financial milestone in our family.

If you've been reading my blog for more than a few months, you know that we got this weird idea to pay cash for a house and we set a big goal at the beginning of 2009 to have fully-funded our house fund by the end of the year. We started the year at 33% and it seemed very far-fetched to think we'd actually make our goal.

But God had other plans. He worked some miracles, moved some modern-day "mountains", and by His grace and enabling, I am thrilled to tell you that we are ending 2009 at our 100% goal! We're already seriously pursuing house-hunting and hope to have purchased a home debt-free by the end of April 2010, if not sooner.

Truly, "with God, all things are possible!"

This huge financial milestone did not happen instantaneously. It was not something we just up and decided to we'd aim for a few weeks or months ago. In actuality, our journey towards saving to pay 100% down for our first home began before we were even married!

On Thursday, I'm going to be sharing the nuts and bolts of our story and the struggles, lessons, difficulties, and victories we've encountered along the way. No matter where you are in your financial journey, I hope and pray our story is an inspiration to you to dream big dreams, set audacious goals, work hard, and not give up when the going gets tough. You just never know where it might lead!

Have you written down financial goals for 2010? If not, be sure to check out Simple Mom's post on the subject to nudge you in the right direction.

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349 Comments

  • Julie says:

    WOW! Congratulations, Crystal and Jesse! It’s such an encouragement to see how God has blessed your commitment to do things right financially. From our family to yours, may 2010 be a year of incredible blessings!

  • Donna S says:

    Congratulations!!! Did you call in to Dave Ramsey?????

  • Myra says:

    Congratulations you guys!!!!!!!

    I’m thrilled for you! You’re an inspiration to many including my hubby and me! Can’t wait to see the home that God provides for you! Maybe then we’ll need to take a road trip so I can come play-aka decorate with you!

    Have a wonderful, wonderful time seeing the Pacific! 🙂

  • Haila says:

    This is incredibly awesome! Praise God, and thank you as well for the amazing example and inspiration!

  • That’s great! We’re just aiming for 20% down and we’ve still got a while to go. You’re an inspiration!

  • Bethany says:

    Yay! I’m so happy for you guys, Crystal! 🙂

  • cwaltz says:

    Congratulations to you and your family on your accomplishment.

    Christine

  • Cher says:

    ALL PRAISE BE TO GOD!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! YAY!!!

  • Blaire Ruch says:

    God is absolutely amazing! I’m so thrilled for you and your family. Can’t wait to hear the story! Have a fabulous time in Cali! 🙂

  • NerdMom says:

    If you girls are going to be near the Fresno area (kind of by Yosemite), email me! I would love to meet you both!

  • Such an inspiration!! I can’t tell you how much my heart rejoices for you and your family. Have fun at the beach!

    Mercedes

  • NerdMom says:

    Oh, and congrats!!!!!!!!

  • Sarah says:

    Congratulations, Crystal!

  • Kelly says:

    Congrats to you on such an amazing achievement especially during this tough time in our economy. It sounds as if you had your head on straight, and make good choices. I wonder if there is hope for me?? God Bless, and be safe!!

  • That is truly amazing! I am so proud of you and your family on reaching such an awesome goal! I will definitely be making my financial goals for the coming year. In October, I celebrated a year couponing and it has been a whirlwind. I will admit that I did not keep up with my savings as I should have. I know that this will be a goal for me this coming year. I also plan on setting a certain amount of money each week that I have to spend. This post has really inspired me to be more financially savvy in the coming year! Thank you for your inspiring story.

  • Kayla says:

    Absolutely amazing. Congratulations! This is such a huge achievement! Have a wonderful time in CA too!

  • Joy says:

    Congratulations!!! I was just wondering about this today and was assuming that you wouldn’t be quite there and I was wondering how many more months it would take you. What a wonderful surprise to see this post.

  • Laura V. says:

    Awesome!! Congrats.

  • jennifer S. says:

    Congratulations and I love that you give all the glory to God! You are an inspiration to our family!

  • This is fantastic! Congratulations! Thanks for setting such a great example of financial stewardship!

  • Sheila says:

    Wow. That’s all I can say. I’m amazed and humbled. Praise to God and congrats to you and your family for making it happen!

  • AMBER BENNINGHOFF says:

    Congratulations!! U deserve it!

  • Challice says:

    YAY! I am so proud for you all! Congratulations. Thank you Lord! That has to be such a great feeling. For us, a house taht will fit all of us is only a dream and working reality. LOL

  • Heidi says:

    Outstanding, amazing, wonderful, incredible. You are an inspiration. Congratulations on reaching your goal! You and your family have worked so hard and you deserve this. May you continue to be blessed.

  • Tami Lewis says:

    fantastic!!! how inspiring too. we are planning on building a home with our own 2 hands so we don’t incur debt. praise God we will have the money for the land outright (still praying but it looks that way) so there will be 2 debt free homeowners out there 🙂

  • Becky says:

    I can’t wait for Thursday. We’ve been trying for over a year for 20% and only have 4.5% and we don’t even have kids! I want to blame California, but we’ve had free rent since May.

  • Lynn says:

    Amazing! Congratulations and praise the Lord! How awesome to see His hand in your lives. You are an inspiration!

  • Linda Diebel says:

    GOD IS GOOD!

  • Rochelle P. says:

    Congratulations!! Truly with God all things are possible!! Hope you have a great trip. What an inspiration you are to all of us.

  • Heiss Haus says:

    First, congratulations! Second, you should give a talk to kids in high school so they start out on the right foot financially!

  • Rebekah Riehle says:

    congratulations! you are truly an inspiration!!

  • Marie says:

    Crystal that is such fantastic news! I am so inspired by your story!

  • Noelle says:

    Wow! What a great Blessing and way to send out 2009 and welcome 2010!
    Congrats on all of your hard work paying off!

  • Kristina says:

    Congratulations! How exciting! Enjoy your trip! 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    Wow — I had tears in my eyes when I read that you had reached your goal of saving for a home. You and your family are an inspiration to mine. Thank you for sharing so many tips and deals as well as your lives with us!

  • Hi Crystal,
    I haven’t visited your blog for a while as the deals on this blog don’t apply to Australia. However, I used to read your old blog quite often and have followed your ‘story’.

    Congratulations on achieving this major milestone. What a great effort. Your attitude and values are an inspiration.

    We moved to a new city 17 months ago, having sold our previous home, and are still house-hunting. I am learning a lot about patience!

    God bless,

    Kate

  • Lizzie says:

    This is SO awesome! Praising God with you!

  • Joanna Snow says:

    To God be the glory!! That brought tears to my eyes!! How AWESOME!!! 🙂

  • Dawn says:

    Your story has been so inspiring to me and I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU! I wish that we would have been “crazy” like you and saved 100%, but we will close this week on refinancing to a 15 year loan and an incredible interest rate! Best of luck in the house hunting, I can’t wait to see pictures!

  • Maria says:

    Congratulations!

  • Shana says:

    Wow, that is beyond awesome! CONGRATS!!! Have a safe fun trip to Cali. It’s a wonderful place (I live in Cali lol)

  • melissa says:

    Wow, congrats. That is absolutely amazing!

    I cant wait to hear how you did it.

    Any advice on how to save on healthcare? My son was born premature and his health issues plague us. I started couponing to be able to pay his medical bills without going into debt…

  • Cheri says:

    Wow, wow, wow!! What an example of patience and dilligence you are!! We’re on Dave’s Baby Step 2 and I know how excited I get everytime we knock out one tiny debt…..I can’t imagine the dancing for joy that has gone on in your home!!! 🙂

  • Kristen says:

    Crystal~
    Congratulations!!!! That is super exciting! I can’t wait until we are at a point of just shouting “We’re debt free!” Can’t imagine being able to purchase a home with 100% cash!! You’re awesome!

  • Taya says:

    A big huge congratulations! God is so good! I’ve been very inspired by your updates and I’m looking forward to hearing your story on Thursday!

  • Li says:

    Congratulations! What a huge accomplishment!

  • Noreen Smith says:

    AMAZING! I just found your blog the other day because of the link in Simple Mom’s post and I came on over to see how you were going to do it – and here you’ve done it! Congrats to you and I look forward to hearing all about it!

  • MISSY says:

    WHEN MY HUSBAND AND I GOT MARRIED 11 YEARS AGO, WE RENTED A CHEAP LITTLE HOUSE AND SAVED EVERY PENNY WE COULD AND AFTER 9-1/2 YEARS OF SAVING WE NOW HAVE A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE FULLY PAID FOR AND EVEN A LITTLE LEFT OVER!!!!! PEOPLE TOLD US WE WERE CRAZY TO LIVE THAT WAY, BUT THEY’RE NOT SAYIN’ THAT NOW!!!!

  • Kimber says:

    What wonderful news! This will truly be a happy New Year for your family.

  • Lisa says:

    Wow, Crystal… how exciting! I’ve read your monthly updates (check ups) to my family since about March. We’ve been amazed at your audacious goal and we have cheered you on right here from our kitchen (where my laptop is). We rejoice with you at God’s grace. You are an inspiration and make my financial goals seem piddly!

  • Elizabeth says:

    YIPPPEEEEE! PTL!

  • Jen says:

    Congratulation! I’m so excited for you guys! It is so amazing what God is able to accomplish. Thanks for being such an inspiration to me and so many others. It can be done!!

  • Theresa says:

    Congratulations. You truly are an inspiration to many, many people. That is truly phenomenal. Congratulations again.

  • How amazing! God is truly wonderful! Congratulations to you and your family.

  • Cat says:

    Congrats to you and your family!!! I read your forum on a daily basis and I have to say that you are an inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing your stories. :o) God Bless.

  • Heather says:

    Awesome news! Congratulations. You and your family are truly an inspiration. I look forward to reading about the details of your journey!

  • Mary Ann says:

    So excited for you!

  • Yay!!!! Big congrats to you guys, and have fun on your trip!

  • Ruthanne says:

    Oh my! I have chills.

    Sooo excited for y’all. 😀

  • Wowsers! This makes me feel even better for doing the Ramsey thing!! My husband will be lose his job in February so my goal is to tighten up. We have no debt except our mortgage. Between unemployment, increasing my hours to full time (I work from home) and cutting some things I believe we can squeek through, I have a great Peace that it really will be allright!!!

    Heather

  • Jennifer Hotchkiss says:

    Congratulations! How wonderful!! I love reading your story and I think it is awesome how God is blessing you not only with the end result but also during the journey itself!

  • jan says:

    Crystal, that is GREAT news! Congratulations!! Being in the real estate law sector, I can tell you that you are picking the BEST time, possibly ever in our lifetime, to be buying a home with CASH. We always knew cash was king, but right now, its the ONLY way 🙂 I am so darn happy for you!!!! Congrats (and may you be even more inspiring to all those who follow!)

  • AJ says:

    Been following you for a while. CONGRATS on making your goal! This is so awesome and makes me feel like I can do it too!

  • Megan says:

    That’s awesome Crystal!!!
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Can’t wait to read more and see where 2010 takes you!
    God Is AWESOME!!!

    Oh and have a GREAT VACATION!!

  • Sarah says:

    Hi, Crystal, I just started following your blog yesterday. I just want to tell you that I’m so excited that you’ll be able to put 100% down on your house! That is so wonderful:-).

  • Paige says:

    I am so amazed Crystal!!! I can’t wait to here your full report! This makes me want to do this for my family so bad! We have aquired a few rentals with mortgages and I know we could pay them down quicker. Love your site!

  • Judy says:

    Wonderful. My husband and I owe less than $2000. on ours so it will soon be paid off. God has been so good to us. When it is paid off we plan on putting same amount assid for insurance and taxes and using extra for retirement.

  • Jeannine says:

    Praise God from whom all blessing flow. thank you for giving honor and glory to the Lord who made this possible for you and your family.

    May the Lord guide you with His Word in the coming years in to bright and beautiful ways to use your home for the honor,praise and glory of our Only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • kim says:

    I am so happy for you!!! You have inspired me to save up and pay cash for my next car!!!

  • Olathe mom says:

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mary Reed says:

    Congratulations! This is very inspiring!

  • Ashley says:

    Congratulations. Praise God! You have to call Dave Ramsey!

  • Heather says:

    CONGRATS!!!! THAT IS SOOOOOOO AWESOME!!!!! I AM SOOOO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!

  • Rhonda says:

    Congrats! You worked hard for this goal & I am so thankful you brough all of us along for the journey. It’s inspired me to set a couple goals of my own in 2010, something I’ve never done. Please have a safe trip and just have FUN!

  • milissa says:

    I was waiting on this post because I figured with your momentum that you would reach this goal prior to the end of 2009. Congrats! I am sooooo excited for you guys! And I am looking forward to your post on Thursday as well as the upcoming posts on your new home. 🙂

  • Mary Pickett says:

    Congratulations! I have a question though… How much is the home you’re saving for? Did you save for a $60,000 house or a $300,000 house? Either way is great but one is much more impressive than the other. Just wondering what the whole story is? Thanks, and way to go! Mary

  • Denise C. says:

    Nice to see God works in someone’s life. All he does is create misery in mine. He was supposed to turn my life around, and instead made it worse.

  • Mandy says:

    Call Dave Ramsey and yell “I’m COMPLETELY debt-freeeeeeee!!!” 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    Congratulations Crystal, we’ve been cheering for you the whole way!

    Neil and Jessica

  • Laura says:

    Congratulations, Crystal! That is so exciting! What an inspiration to the rest of us that you were able to do this.

  • Andrea says:

    Congrats!!! God is so good. Praying He will lead you to house He has for you. You two are so inspiring. Many blessings to you. 🙂

  • Jing-Jing says:

    Congratulations, so amazing! 🙂

  • Jess says:

    Congrats! Thats amazing you and your family are an inspiration and give me hope that it can be done.

  • Karen says:

    Crystal, I am SO excited for you! Congratulations for attaining such an incredible and difficult goal. You are truly an inspiration to us all, you teach us to dream big. I’m excited about 2010’s big dreams! Thank you so much!

  • Jessica says:

    How exciting for you all! You guys must be on top of the world right now!! I have butterflies in my stomach for you! Not only have you saved 100% cash for your home, but you have inspired so many people along the way! What an accomplishment! I’m so anxious to read the full story and see how you went from 75% to 100% in a month…how incredible 🙂

  • Congratulations! That is wonderful and know you are proud of your accomplishments. Thanks for sharing your goals and actually reaching them. Have fun on your vacation.

  • Kathleen says:

    Congratulation Crystal and Family! That is amazing! I am so happy for all of you! We have already bought our home and no we didn’t pay cash. I wish I had found your blog years ago! We could be saving so much money with no mortgage. You guys really deserve it after your years of hard work. Congrats!

  • Natalie says:

    WHOOO HOOOOO!!!!!! Congratulations! I know you and your family have worked very hard for this and have made some sacrifices over the years. Your story is an inspiration to many!

  • Michelle says:

    Congratulations! Thanks for being such a wonderful inspiration to so many – don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

  • Leigh Ann says:

    Oh, how wonderful! I’ve been following for a couple of years now, and I remember showing my husband your goal to pay 100% down. Each month I send him your update and we’re both newly inspired to keep plunging ahead in our financial goals! We’ve enjoyed seeing God move mountains for us, and we definitely rejoice with you now! Whoo hoo!! Enjoy your vacation! 🙂

  • Congrats! That is such great news!!

  • Kelley says:

    Way to go Crystal! You have been such an inspiration for me and my family, and I am so excited for you! Congrats.

  • Ann says:

    How delightful! A GREAT testimony, Crystal. We’re so proud of you!

  • Judith says:

    I am so impressed and inspired! Just wanted to say I love your blog!

  • Cre says:

    Congratulations! That is AWESOME.

  • Praise the Lord! Congratulations on reaching your goal!

  • Melissa says:

    Congratulations! You and your family are such an inspiration, and praise to God for all the work He has done in your life!

  • Merrilee says:

    I knew you could do it! You are such an encouragement to those of us who are not there… yet. Thanks to you and all your resources (like Dave Ramsey and coupons), my husband and I are on the road to becoming debt-free, even though it looks like it might take us five years to get there. Thank you for your humility and your diligence and your encouraging attitude. God bless you and continue to guide you with His wisdom as you look for the best home for you and your growing family.

  • Rebecca Z. says:

    God is SO good. I’m glad He shined his light on your family. God Bless you in the New Year! Congrats!

  • Lucky says:

    Wow, great job! I can’t wait to hear how you did it. Weren’t you just at 75%? That is amazing!

  • Kimberly says:

    Wow, congratulations! That is great. I wish I could say I did the same!!!

  • Beth says:

    Congratulations. You and your family are inspirations and are helping my family set financial goals for next year.

  • Liz says:

    All I can you is that YOU ROCK. I had the biggest smile reading that you reached your goal. What a blessing this house will be.

    Thank you for openly sharing your life with us :-}

  • Lea says:

    Whoo hoo!!!! YAY!

    Congratulations Crystal! What an awesome milestone! Thanks for sharing and enjoy that house hunting…I know we did several years ago when we bought our house. It’s truly interesting to see how other houses are and how people live (sometimes that one is a little scary!). 🙂

    Lea

  • Amanda says:

    congratulations!!!

  • Amanda C. says:

    Wahoo! That is awesome! Thank you so much for your great example for my husband and I. Before we got married 3 years ago, we listened to Dave Ramsey and decided to live to our best ability by his ideas. So far we’ve done alright, but a house is still pretty far in the future, as grad school is coming first (next Fall!). It is so easy to get side tracked, so I have loved reading about your example here. Thanks so much for sharing! Good luck in the house hunt! Amanda

  • melissa says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!

    That is such an incredible testimony – you guys sacrificed and remained faithful and God delivered like always. I’m speechless. Huge congrats to you and your family. I hope you guys have a fantastic time on your vacation.

  • Kristy says:

    Congratulations!!!!!! I am so happy for you guys! You are such an inspiration!

  • Alicia says:

    God is good!

    Congrats to you and your family. What a wonderful blessing and a great way to end 2009 and start 2010!

  • Gretchen says:

    That is AMAZING, Crystal! My better half and I are starting Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University in January, we cannot WAIT! I hope to be in your shoes someday! 🙂

  • Anna says:

    That is so awesome!!! I’ve been telling me husband about this Congratulations onn reaching your goal!!!

  • Beth says:

    That is fantastic! I have been wondering how your savings were coming along and was hoping for a year end update! This is a huge encouragement to me as my husband and I attempt to pay off our debt while launching our own business and living (with your help, frugally) off of a corporate severance package. Congratulations! You all must be so proud- and rightfully so!

  • Kahle says:

    Congrats Crystal and Jesse! God can do amazing things! He has blessed you!

  • That is so awesome! I can’t wait to read the whole story! We discovered Dave Ramsey last Spring and are working on our snowball. But more importantly, our whole financial paradigm has shifted to realizing that living debt-free and credit is obtainable! What an inspiration you are!

  • Jennifer says:

    Congratulations! What a blessing! I celebrate with you and look forward to seeing a picture of your new home in the coming months. Have a great time in California with the FishFam. I enjoy both your blogs!

  • Kim says:

    Congratulations!!!!

  • Kelly W says:

    A perfect testimony of “practicing what you preach”. I am motivated. God is a big God so I can trust Him to help my family, too!! Good for you.

  • Megan says:

    Congratulations!! Most people take a lifetime to buy a house with their own money, if ever! Sounds like it’s due to a lot of hard work on your part–take the credit–you deserve it!!!

  • Davonne says:

    Congratulations! We are just beginning our journey to a debt free life (this was our first month for a zero dollar budget), and I can hardly WAIT to be out of debt!

    I thought you were only at 75% or something though as of November, so please share how you saved the last 25% so quickly!

    Again, congratulations! I am sure house hunting will be SO fun and exciting when you know you’ll be paying cash 🙂

  • Andrea says:

    Wonderful, absolutely wonderful. God bless.

  • Erin says:

    Congrats! What a relief knowing you won’t have to worry about payments. With that comes the relief of knowing you can help others, save for college for the little ones and save for your retirement!

    Great job!

  • Jennifer says:

    You should be so proud of all your hard work. Way to go! We had to take on a van loan this past summer and it is our only debt other than our mortgage. We owe $15,000 still and my goal had been to pay it off within a year. I have been getting so discouraged lately, but you are providing much needed motivation to keep at my goal.

  • Brooke says:

    That is so awesome. God does some amazing things and you are a testimony to this. Great Job!

  • Diane says:

    God has chosen to reward your stewardship and wisdom and all I can say is YEAH THAT!!!!!

  • Megan says:

    Congratulations on this major accomplishment!!! You’re an inspiration, enjoy house hunting!!!

  • jillbert says:

    I am thrilled for you!!!! I enjoy reading your monthly financial updates because I believe you serve as an inspiration to others. Saving 100% for a house is a HUGE goal and you guys have attained it. Your young family is an example of how to live financially responsibily and still live well. 🙂 You rock, Krystal!

  • Susan says:

    Congratulations to you & your family! How awesome that you have this legacy of smart, debt-free living to show to your children by example, not just words. Thank you for your efforts and proving that it can be done and sharing with the world your perseverence and determination. May God continue to truly bless you & your family!!

  • SANDRA says:

    congrats!! youre so smart to have dislipline like you do, youre an inspiration!

  • Anna says:

    What an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations and enjoy the fruits of your labor. 🙂

  • Laney Flattery says:

    Congratulations Crystal! You and your family have been a big inspiration to us! Keep up the great work!

  • Jennie says:

    So happy for you! That is an amazing goal to accomplish and no small feat! Your patience will be rewarded for sure. God Bless you!

  • Stephanie Anderson says:

    Congratulations!!! And thank you for helping us financially too! 🙂

  • Alyssa says:

    Inspiring! Congrats to your family!

  • Erika says:

    What an awesome blessing. You are an inspiration. Please use your blessing as a testimony so that others may learn from you.

  • Wow! Such an inspiration!

    You will call Dave with the news, right? I wonder if he would let you post the segment of the show on your blog so we can all hear it?

  • Aimee B says:

    Congratulations, what an absolutely awesome achievement!

    What is your next financial goal?

  • Alisha says:

    Congratulations!

  • Kacy says:

    What a blessing! You & your family deserve it! On the blog, we only get a small glimpse of how hard you have worked to make this goal a reality. Can’t wait to read about the house hunting! It is such a fun experience 🙂

  • Ann'Re says:

    Congratulations! We just went on unemployment since Hubby’s plant closed and I must get seriously frugal…you are an inspiration and I’m so glad that you are willing to share your journey with us. May God continue to bless you all richly.

  • Congratulations!! You guys should definitely celebrate…you deserve it!

  • Emily Kay says:

    Praise God! That is incredible!! We’re just trying to save up so we can buy a used vehicle in cash by the time baby #3 comes in July and even that seems unattainable at times. You truly are an inspiration to all of us!!

  • Noah Heutchy says:

    Congratulations! What wonderful news! Enjoy your trip to CA!

  • Andi says:

    Wow, that is awesome, congratulations. I’ve followed you blog for while now and I’m so happy for you as if i know you.

  • Angela says:

    Congratulations! I hope you find the home of your dreams. 🙂

  • Debbie says:

    My jaw dropped when I read your post. Congratulations for such an accomplishment. Have fun in Cali (I wish I could go too, I’m freezing in New Jersey)!

  • Nancy says:

    Congratulations! That’s awesome! I can’t wait to hear more about it!

  • Sharon says:

    Outstanding! Congratulations! (definitely call Dave Ramsey!)

  • Jennifer says:

    God is so good! Way to go! You worked hard, you sacrificed, you trusted God and He blessed you with this wonderful gift.

    Thank you for being so inspiring to so many of us!

  • Sarah says:

    Congratulations on being faithful to the Lord and His calling for your family and finances! I pray that the Lord blesses you with a house that surpasses your desires and costs less than you could’ve imagined!

    Can’t wait to hear more of the nuts and bolts of your story!

    Just a side note…did I miss the last parts of the working from home series?

  • Tracy P says:

    Congratulations on your much deserved achievement. God has given your family many blessings and in turn, you have given those blessings to others by teaching and allowing us to save money. Thank you!

  • Melissa says:

    I am so excited for you and your family to have reached your goal! It is such an inspiration to our family. I can’t wait to hear more details. Good luck with the house hunting!

  • Cortney says:

    CONGRATS! Your such an inspiration to a young couple like me and my husband. After my son was born with medical issues we went into debt…but now after reading your blog you have inspired us and our debt is going down sooooo quickly. Gods blessing is definitely there when you do things his way. GOD BLESS and good luck in the new year!

  • Nicola says:

    Congratulations Crystal, that is wonderful news!!!!

  • Keisha says:

    Wonderful news! Praise God!!! Congratulations!!!! :o)

  • Julie Gillen says:

    Congratulations!!! Can’t wait to see you guys in your own house!!!

  • You are such an inspiration for me and my husband. We have big goals to pay for 50% of our first home – prices in Colorado are pretty high. We even moved downgrated from our bigger but still small apartment to help out. God is so good to those who do. Congrats! Please keep us updated, pictures and sorts- you have no idea how many people you are touchging. me included.

  • Mia says:

    Congratulations! What a great example you are. I can hardly wait to see your new house!!!

  • Congratulations -and I thought we were doing good when we only financed for 15 years several years ago. A big WOW to you.

  • Ksenia says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter here. CONGRATULATIONS! WOW! How inspiring! I feel really stuck and unable to figure out how to further our savings right now, so I would absolutely love some tips and help. Looking forward to tomorrow!

  • Leah says:

    Congratulations Crystal! Very, very impressive. Can’t wait to see photos of the NEW HOUSE when you’ve picked one out!

  • Amy says:

    I have goosebumps! God is so good!! Thank you for inspiring others to “live like noone else” and for giving the glory where its due!

  • Beth says:

    Wow, this made my eyes well up when I read this. I don’t even know you and I’m super happy for you! God is so good, ALL PRAISE TO HIM!

  • Julia says:

    Oh, Crystal!! Wonderful news, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Praising God along with you!!

  • Lisa says:

    congratulations!

  • Shannon says:

    Congratulations on your achievement! I can’t wait to hear the rest of your story!

  • Layla says:

    This is such wonderful news, and I’m so happy for you! Your discipline has really paid off! I love your blog and check it almost daily for tips, deals, and ideas and I appreciate all the time you take to share with us!

  • aimee says:

    Congratulations! What a wonderful blessing to end the year with! Anxious to hear your story! It is great to see that it is actually possible. What an inspiration!

  • Camille Craw says:

    Super super congratulations! That is so great! Happy househunting! Being a home owner is really fun! We just bought our first home in June. It wasn’t debt free but it was definitely a modest home and someday we’ll be debt free!

  • Jaden says:

    WOW… Congratulations Crystal, that is incredible! I ope you and your family have a fantastic vacation. You are TRULY an inspiration!

  • Danna says:

    Congrads! Nothing feels as good as being debt free and owning your house outright. We set a goal 7 years ago to pay off our $196K mortgage and stay free of other debts. In January 2010 we will have our house paid off and be completely debt free. The 7 years passed pretty quickly. My DH has had 2 jobs in that time and I stopped working and had 2 baby boys. But we still got there!

  • Ana Castellanos says:

    Congratulations, you guys are truly an inspiration. Living in So. California I don’t think I could ever pay cash for a house but I am aiming to only have our mortgage. Have fun in sunny San Diego, I live about 1hr north and it has been beautiful, maybe our paths will cross while visiting the beach.
    God Bless

  • juli says:

    That’s great news! Congratulations!

  • nichole says:

    WOW! WOW! WOW! Congratulations! What an incredible acomplishment. We truly are blessed when we let the Lord in to our lives.

  • Laura says:

    Congratulations, I’m so thrilled for you! You are definitely an inspiration to all your blog readers. Thanks in part to your numerous posts about Dave Ramsey, I signed up for FPU last January and am now working his plan. I’m set to pay off my last consumer debt in about three weeks and then I’ll just have my student loan to tackle. Last year at this point I had no idea where to even start to get out of debt. You and your family are so inspiring to me…. you give me hope that living debt free is doable and joyful!

  • Jennifer says:

    Congratulations, it’s truly an inspiration to know that “normal” people can actually reach that goal. You don’t need huge paying jobs, or to win the lottery. With a little creativity and a budget that you actually stick to, anybody can do it. Thanks so much for allowing us to read your story, and I personally can’t wait to read what you have in store for Thursday. I honestly mean it when I say you are an inspiration! It gives me hope that someday I may be debt free.

  • Victoria says:

    Your family is amazing!! I was really hoping and praying that you and your family would be able to meet your goals-for all of the inspiration and money saving ideas you share with us-thank you!

  • Rae says:

    Oh wow! You said like 2 months ago that you didn’t think that it would happen until the beginning of 2010! Congrats that is awesome!!!

  • Crystal says:

    Congratulations! What an inspiration!

  • MamaArcher says:

    Congratulations!!! What an accomplishment! Thank you for setting such a strong example in financial discipline! I am looking forward to those nuts and bolts you mentioned.

    You make me want to make sure to stick to our goal for this coming year!

  • Katie says:

    Congratulations! Reading your story and success has been an inspiration to me. I am truely excited for you and your family. What a blessing to have financial peace!

  • Saver Queen says:

    I remember reading about these goals and feeling so impressed and inspired by them, and it’s so exciting to hear that you have acheived them! Congratulations to you and your family! You have worked so hard, Crystal. It’s a great lesson to all of us.

  • Congrats, Crystal! So excited for you and your family.

  • Jenny C. says:

    Praise the Lord! It’s amazing what a wonderful God we serve! God bless you and your family.

  • Joy says:

    Congratulations! So excited for you — happy house hunting!

  • Mama Laundry says:

    Now THAT makes for a happy day! Or year, as the case is!

    So very ,very thrilled for you! Congrats!

  • lynn says:

    CONGRATS!! and enjoy your trip. That is sooo wonderful! I have never been one to budget and save, but I am starting NOW. Seriously I am starting in 2010 and am hoping to get some emergency funds, pay off mortgages, etc. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Katie says:

    Congratulations. What a great testament to how hard work truly does pay off! You’ve been such an inspiration to many!

  • Angel says:

    Congrats!!! You guys are truly an inspiration.

  • Denise says:

    Way to go! Congratulations!

  • rachael p says:

    Congrats you guys!! That is awesome news. Thanks for your example-you have inspired me and many others to live simply and debt free. Keep up the good work.

  • Melissa S. says:

    I have been following this post for a few months now! I am so excited for you guys. I am really tearing up just thinking about what you have accomplished! Congratulations!!

  • Lynne in NC says:

    That is awesome news! Congratulations!
    I have followed your progress, and I’m looking forward to your post on the whole process.
    Have a wonderful trip to/from California.
    Peace.

  • Amanda says:

    Congratulations!!! That is wonderful news and I look forward to hearing about your house-hunting! What a great way to start out your 2010. 🙂

  • Amber says:

    Congratulations! Your family’s story is truly inspiring!!

  • Libby Nelson says:

    Hooray, Crystal and family! You have so much to celebrate! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures in househunting and where you finally land. Godspeed on your trip!

  • Laura N. says:

    Congratulations!!! My husband and I have lived in our house for 10 years and a couple of months ago we paid off our house. That allowed us to pay cash for Christmas this year. We are now completely debt free. It’s such a great feeling to start the new year fresh with no money worries.

  • Ellen Drake says:

    Congratulations!!!! It’s been truly an inspiration reading about this journey. Such blessings. God is good! Best wishes in the New Year for you and yours.

  • Jody says:

    Yeah! I am praying the LORD now provides you with an awesome deal on a house, so that “100%” will be way above and beyond what you even needed. 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    YAY!!!! Congrats!

  • Lisa says:

    Congratulations! With the help of God and your perserverance your goal has come true. Your family is an inspiration to us as all.

  • Chris P says:

    Crystal,
    WhoooooHooooo! Awesome!! What a great way to end the year. Praise God!!

  • Mandy says:

    I, too, just had to add my congratulations. That is truly remarkable! You have been a huge inspiration to me, and following your lead, my husband and I have set some tough financial goals for ourselves for the coming year. May God continue to bless you in your efforts!

  • Megan says:

    Congratulations Crystal and family!!! I am so incredibly impressed and inspired!! I hope and pray that your family finds the perfect house!! To God be the glory!!

  • Congratulations!

    You are such an inspiration and encouragement to me. I can’t even believe buying a house debt free is POSSIBLE??!!!!

    Really does remind us that God can do Anything! congratualtions, what an amazing feeling that must be!! 🙂

  • Cathe says:

    Praising God for this! You are an inspiration to many people.

  • Melissa says:

    Congrats! When you do start looking at houses, the look on people’s faces when you let them know you are paying cash will be priceless.

  • Jessica says:

    Congratuations to youall for reaching such a huge goal!! I am so happy for you guys.. that is so awesome everything youall have been able to accomplish.. and the lessons and goals that are being taught to yourall’s kids at such a young age is so amazing! You are such an inspiration to myself and all of the other readers here. I have learned so much since I started reading your blog.. we are still trying to get out of debt.. but hope to one day accomplish our goals of becoming debt-free and eventually owning our own home someday.

    Thanks, Crystal, for everything you do!! 🙂

  • Kacie says:

    Way to go! That is a huuuge goal! Now that you have your house fund saved, you’ll really be able to increase your savings and givings for other things!

    We are saving up to pay cash for a second vehicle in about a year’s time, as we’re hoping to move closer to family. There’s no public transit, so that second car will be important.

    I think we’ll rent a house when we move to get to know the area better and to keep on saving for a house. We’ll probably go for 20% down on a 15-year mortgage, but maybe we’ll shoot for more!

  • Heather N. says:

    I’m so happy for you and impressed with how diligent you guys have been at such a young age. I have a few years on you and didn’t have any training growing up or understanding of finances until about the past 5 years. We’ve been married 16 years and are on baby step #2. It’s going to be a longer road for us because of poor choices we’ve made in the past, but for our children I hope they have a journey similar to yours. Thanks for being such a blessing and encouragement to all of us trying to do the best with the resources the Lord has entrusted us with. Congratulations!

  • Jan says:

    Wow I can’t believe you did it already!

  • Deb says:

    Congrats, Crystal! On Monday we initiated the wire transfer to pay off our house (4 yrs into the loan). It’s a fabulous way to live!!

  • annette says:

    wow amazing!!!!! good for you.

  • UNREAL!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the blessing of taking us on this journey. It inspires me to “keep on keepin on!”

    Blessings in 2010!

  • Natalie says:

    congratulations! what a testimony to both God’s provision and your dedication!

  • Lesa says:

    God is so good isn’t He? Congratulations! I am glad you are taking time to celebrate and to give thanks! This trip will serve as a memory of God’s goodness and blessing to your family! Your goal setting is an inspiration as is your incredible faith! Blessings to your family!

  • I’ve been wondering if you were getting close! CONGRATULATIONS! And thank you for sharing your journey with others so that we can be inspired to strive for our own goals and financial goals!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations! That is a HUGE accomplishment. Now, get saving for property taxes and repairs! 🙂

  • Kari says:

    Congratulations on meeting that milestone! My husband and I have this same goal. We are now about half way to our goal. It is so easy to want to go buy a house now with our big downpayment, especially during these winter months as our house is 120+ years old and the cold seems to go straight through it. Thanks for the encouragement to keep pushing on!

  • Jenna says:

    Congratulations, what an amazing accomplishment!

  • Dani says:

    Congratulations on achieving your dream! You inspire me to set goals and reach them – thank you for the inspiration.

  • FinanceDad says:

    That’s awesome, congrats! I’m wrapping up my annual goals by tomorrow. You’re proof that if you set your goals high, but reasonable, you can achieve them. Great story.

  • tonya Cherry says:

    Congratulations. What an inspiration you are.

  • tonya Cherry says:

    Congratulations. What an inspiration you are.

  • Leigh says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! WOW, that is awesome. Good for you guys! Best of luck finding a house you LOVE.

  • Tiffany says:

    So encouraging, thanks for posting. You should call ‘ol Dave…he’d be proud! Praise the Lord for his abundant blessings.

  • Alicia says:

    Crystal,
    Congrats! So happy for you!

  • Amanda says:

    First off WOW congratulations! I have been rooting for you! Second I want to thank you so much for being an inspiration to me and tons of other people! You do an excellent job and I know I really appreciate it! Again, congrats!!!!!!

  • Stef says:

    God is awesome!
    Congrats!!!

  • That is INCREDIBLE!! God is good!

  • angie says:

    Congratulations on making your goal. I am so impressed with your persistance. Everything is possible~~~ You have inspired me to save even more!!!

  • Kathryn says:

    Congrats, congrats, congrats! Your family’s stewardship has not always been easy. Spending is easy. Living for the moment is easy. Instant gratification is easy. Your discipline and faithfulness have enabled your family to achieve major goals – completing law school debt free and the ability to pay cash for your future home. Great job! So, what goals are next?

  • Lauren says:

    Sweeeeet! I am so happy for you & your family. You are such an inspiration to me. I can’t wait to read your Thur. post to hear more about how you did it. We are currently due to pay our mortgage off on 6/1/17, but we’re paying a little extra each month & hope to see that date decrease.

  • Bree says:

    That is AWESOME! Very inspiring. God is good!

  • Erin says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a great thing to celebrate as the year comes to a close.

  • Crystal,

    I am so happy for you and your family! You’re such an inspiration. We’ve only just begun our journey with Dave Ramsey and it still feels so very overwhelming but your posts are so encouraging and they give us hope that these things are possible. I feel like we have a huge mountain to climb–of debt accumulated simply from living expenses when my husband had little to no work in the past couple of years. Thanks for inspiring us and so many others!

    Congratulations! Best of luck on the house hunting!
    ~ Jennifer

  • Amy says:

    Yay!!!!! I’m so happy for you! I can only imagine how good that feels! Thank you for sharing your goals with us…gives me inspiration and hope for our little goals. 🙂 Happy New Year and enjoy your trip!

  • andrea flannagan says:

    wow!! awesome!!!

    I love how you give God the glory!

  • Amy Sue Schaffer says:

    Crystal,
    Congratulations! You all deserve a beautiful home after all of your hard work. Thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us. Thank you and your husband for being willing to share your story. We have been much encouraged by following your blog. God Bless and have a Happy New Year!

  • Christy says:

    Congratulations! God is good all the time!
    What a wonderful thing thanks for sharing it and inspiring us to do big things with Gods help and blessings.

  • Traci Menie says:

    That is SO AWESOME!!! Congratulations to you both!!! What an awesome feeling that is. I am so happy for you! To God be the glory. Thank you for being willing to be used by Him!

  • Jeannine says:

    Congratulations and I cannot wait to read all about it.

  • That is awesome! Congratulations on your hard work! God truly blesses all of us, and those who work hard are able to truly see those blessings most clearly.

  • Bethany says:

    Congratulations!!! That is so amazing! You are such an inspiration to me!

  • Lisa says:

    Wow! Praise God for working this out for you! What a huge blessing!

  • Chrys says:

    Wow! I literally felt shivers as I read this post. I bought a house last year myself (with debt, pre DR), and yet I found myself being so inspired, and I’m almost more excited about your family’s accomplishment. Congratulations, and I really appreciate you proving that this ‘impossible’ goal could be met, especailly as my family keeps pushing grad school, and me not wanting to take on any more debt to do so. Thanks so much 🙂

  • jodie says:

    WOWZA!!! you guys did it!! 🙂 this is all very inspiring to myself and SO many other people! Congrats to you and your family! God is good!! 🙂

  • Amy says:

    Congratulations! We have owned our own home for about 8 years. We we bought our last one, it was so great to tell the Realtor that we were paying CASH! We were in our early 30’s when we paid one house off. I can’t tell you what a blessing it has been to be able to do that.

    My husband was able to go back to school three years ago and he finished in two years and we are STILL debt free. Our Lord has blessed us so much. I know that it is a process and it was a process that my husband started with we were married almost 11 years ago.

    I’ve been pouty sometimes about the decisions of what we couldn’t spend. But I wouldn’t go back for those “things” or restaurant meals any longer.

    Happy New Year!

  • Congrats! So how long does it take you to save all that cash to buy a house? And how much a price range are you looking at?

  • Josette says:

    congratulations!! You get what you deserve:)

    You are an inspiration!

  • Thrifty Al says:

    What an amazing blessing!! We’ve enjoyed your updates on the percent of your home you owned and are ecstatic that the number is now 100%! You know truly the blessing and joy of “not being a slave to your creditors” and I hope we can all work toward that goal in the future months and years!! Soli Deo Gloria!!

  • Stephanie says:

    Congrats! It’s wonderful to see the fruits of your labor. I think everyone’s New Year’s Resolution is to save more money! Creating a budget and cutting back on the little things is a great start. I love blogging about this too!

  • Rebecca Hull says:

    You are truly my hero. I am a single mother of one and have always wanted to buy my home outright with cash. I have already saved up 25% and am hoping to be able to save another 10% by the time my girl starts kindegarten. You are truly an inspiration.

  • I am so thrilled for you and your family! I think you ought to call Dave Ramsey as well! He would love your story!

  • Jessica says:

    I am so thrilled for you! What a testimony to how God can bless our efforts when we strive to do His will. Wishing you a WONDERFUL vacation and beginning to 2010 – sure to filled with more blessings!

  • Michelle H. says:

    Congratulations! That’s awesome.

  • Domestic Me says:

    That’s absolutely amazing! Congratulations! I’m so excited for you and your family. I just started reading your blog two months ago. I can’t wait to hear the nuts and bolts of how you did this. Thanks for sharing all of this with your readers.

  • mommy308 says:

    Wow! That is Awesome! Congratulations!

  • Nancy says:

    Congratulations! Your sacrifice is an inspiration to me.

  • Heather says:

    Praise God for that awesome blessing. I know it took alot of hard work and sacrfice to. Great job to you and your family.

  • Nancy says:

    WOW, your post brought me to tears. We are on an accelerated path to pay off a house in 6 years before my child support ends. I finally got “gazelle intense” (as Dave Ramsey would say) and started posting every extra payment on my refrigerator so I had a constant reminder. I was getting discouraged as this year the Lord blessed us more than abundantly and I tripled my salary. When I began to get discouraged I pulled up your update posts and read them to my husband. They were such a wonderful encouragement and now we are pushing forward with no forms of regret of what we might be missing out with for living frugally. Thank you again for your inspiration and thank you God for providing so abundantly!!!

  • damien says:

    To say that I’m impressed and inspired would be an understatement. Congratulations and may be the blessings continue to flow!

  • Marisa M says:

    Wow! Congratulations! What a wonderful feeling, I’m sure! I hope you find the perfect home for your family! Thanks for your discipline and hard work. It’s inspiring!

  • Evelyn says:

    I am so thrilled for you. Congratulations! Yes God is Good. You are an inspiration to us all. Enjoy your trip. Be safe.

  • Heidi says:

    Wow! Congratulations! You are such an inspiration!!

  • Crystal, Your perservance and faith to accomplish what many will not is truly remarkable. Congratulations on achieving your goal. That’s going to make househunting even more sweet – knowing you have the CASH to pay for it.
    I forwarded a couple of your posts on this goal to my 18 year old brother as inspiration that this can be done. What a great example!

    looking forward to reading more on Thursday.
    …Shannon

  • Liz says:

    way to go!

  • Suzy says:

    You must call Dave Ramsey! I have never heard anyone call in saying they are debt-free and THEN buy a house for cash! He will be so impressed, as are all of us! Congratulations!

  • Sallie says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!! My husband and I live in base housing and give up nearly $1500 a month of pay to do so but our goal, too, is to buy our first (and hopefully only) home debt free. We have a little over 2 years for saving and know that God will be more than gracious in His provision for us!!

    Happy home hunting!!

  • Karen says:

    CONGRATS! I’m so happy for you and Jesse!

  • Congratulations!!! I cannot wait to hear more about the specific story and how you guys achieved such an amazing goal.

  • Sherry says:

    That is awesome! Praise God for His providence!

  • Lynn says:

    I have just realized that you are the same person who use to own the blog biblicalwomanhood.org. I love this blog and enjoy it very much. Blessings!

  • lizajane says:

    That is super! Congratulations and enjoy your house hunting.

  • Burgandy says:

    Congratulations!!!!! What an awesome accomplishment. Happy house hunting!!!!

  • Christy Carden says:

    This is really exciting and I am very happy for you. I am, however, a bit baffled at how this was accomplished. I’m not sure what the cost of living is/how much a home costs where you live. Where we live, the cost of living/cost of a home is low compared to many places in the country. You could get a small starter home for $120,000 or so (like our tiny townhome). That would mean saving $10,000 a month in order to be able to save for the home in one year. Even if you are planning on buying a home for half of that, you’d have to save $5,000/mo! My husband and I don’t even make that much combined in one month! I get the concept that you pay less for the house if you pay for it outright and don’t mortage it and we are patiently saving for a car for that same reason. We have saved lots of money through your blog in order to free up money for other things. Right now the only debt we have is student loan debt from my husband and mortgage and we are very proud of that little accomplishment! We are bursting out of our tiny townhome, even though I constantly get rid of clutter/stuff (dogs and child just need space–i.e. yard, esp. if another child is added to the mix) and are ready for a larger house. I just don’t see how we could do it without a mortgage! I am not trying to be negative, I am very happy for you and amazed at what you have accomplished. I am just a bit baffled at how to go about doing something like this. I get spend less, save more. But there is no way we can save thousands every month–that is more than we make and you have to subtract living expenses even if you cut them down!

  • Rachal says:

    Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you!!!

  • Donna says:

    Congratulations! I’ve enjoyed reading your progress updates and learning lots of ways of saving money. It’s wonderful you reached your goal and I can’t wait to see what your next goals are!

  • Amanda says:

    Congratulations on reaching your goal!

    I made my five year goal and paid off one of my two student loans at the end of August. It was a variable rate loan for $30,000. I was hoping to pay off my other low, fixed rate loan in another year, but had to buy a, new to me car, unexpectedly. I didn’t have a down payment because I was putting all of my extra money towards the loan, so my next financial goal will be to build our savings. My car died a little sooner than I had hoped, but I plan to get my other school loan and the car paid off quickly too. I am so excited to not have the burden of the larger loan anymore. We celebrated with a small trip to Myrtle Beach. Your blog and couponing gave me the push to make sure I made my five year goal!

  • Kara Russell says:

    C.O.N.G.R.A.T.S.!!
    Hard work pays off….I can’t wait to see your beautiful new home!!

  • Lynn says:

    Wow! Congratulations on reaching your goal!!!!

    Congrats also on being listed as Number 2 in the 50 How to Save Money Blogs! http://www.personalloans.org/50-how-to-save-money-blogs/

  • Micaila says:

    Congrats! That is amazing! Now when we teach our next FPU I can use you as an example! Awesome.

  • Pamela says:

    Awesome! You give me lots of hope as we teach our children. I am curious to know how your financial decisions will change and remain the same now that you’ve accomplished this goal. Will you start splurging in some areas? Or do you have another financial goal on the horizon that you will be working towards? When we became debt-free, we immediately boosted our entertainment fund and started going out for fabulous date nights every week! It was fun to have some extravagance after living so frugally for 2.5 years. My biggest way of celebrating was putting in my two weeks notice though. 🙂 A debt-free SAHM is a happy mom indeed.

  • Stacy says:

    Congratulations to your family, Crystal! What an amazing accomplishment! God is so good!

  • Carli says:

    Congratulations! And way to go! And I am so excited that you will quailfy for the tax credit too, right!?!

    That’s what I call A MONEY MAKER!

  • Melissa says:

    Congratulations! What a testimony to God’s faithfulness!

  • ilene says:

    Congratulations on this accomplishment!
    Enjoy every minute of your trip and savor this special time!

  • Heather says:

    Congratulations!!! It goes to show that with hard work, dedication, and God on your side that all things are possible. 2010 is already shaping up to be a wonderful year for you..so exciting. May God continue to bless you and your family…

  • sarah says:

    Congratulations! Enjoy the beach!

  • Jenna says:

    Praise God!!! Congratulations and I wish you FUN in house hunting!!!

  • Meredith says:

    It has truly been a privilege to watch this journey. Congratulations!

  • Cat says:

    Congrats to you and your family. What an inspirational story!! Thanks for sharing. God Bless.

  • Lynn says:

    That is some really awesome stuff right there. I can’t wait to hear some of the details and insight you guys have to share. From being an avid HouseHunters watcher for years now all I can say is: Don’t settle! Keep looking till you find that right house or the right house finds you… Congrats! Enjoy CA.

    My best, Lynn
    *swing on over to my spot, I’m hosting a giveaway extravaganza this week!

  • Ann says:

    You are an inspiration! And most importantly what an amazing gift you have given your children- a realized dream, living a life without debt, living within your means, using only what you truly need..congratulations!

  • Katie says:

    Congratulations that is amazing news. I have been following your blog for over a year so have read about the sacrifices you have made in the short term to reach this goal. It has taken much determination, tenacity and hard-work – but wow what an achievement. Have a wonderful holiday.

    You are an inspiration to all of us. You have certainly made me up my goals!

  • Katie says:

    Congratulations that is amazing news. I have been following your blog for over a year so have read about the sacrifices you have made in the short term to reach this goal. It has taken much determination, tenacity and hard-work – but wow what an achievement. Have a wonderful holiday.

    You are an inspiration to all of us. You have certainly made me up my goals!

  • What a great blog, I just stumbled upon here!

    I just blogged about my own personal financial goals for 2010 and mine include saving to pay cash for a home. We strive to live debt free (except for the mortgage) and I am so excited to hear your story for how you did this!

    Carrie
    http://www.organicthrifty.com

  • Linda says:

    Congratulations!! What an awesome milestone to meet and what a great witness about being a good stewart of all the things God has given you. You are an inspiration!

  • Vicki says:

    How inspirational! Especially in this day when things are so crazy financially! Congrats!!!

  • Tsh says:

    Crystal, I am SO proud of you! I was talking about you on my blog the other day, and when a reader of mine said that you had indeed made it to 100%, I had to come and read it for myself! A huge congratulations to you both. Praise God.

    My husband and I were doing the dishes last night, and I was talking about you. He thought for a moment and said, “You know, I think maybe we should do that, too.” We’ve been planning on putting as big a down payment as possible on a house, but after talking for a bit, we may just make this our goal, too… We’ll see.

    I’m happy to call you my friend and encourager! Way to go. God is good.

  • Tsh says:

    Oh, and I meant to say… You guys should call Dave Ramsey to scream! I know you didn’t become debt-free; that you have been from the beginning, but I’m sure he’d think this was huge. Just a thought! 🙂

  • Lori says:

    Congratulations! That gave me goose bumps.

  • Debbie says:

    Congratulations! Your story has been such an inspiration to me and my husband. We have cut our grocery bill in half and have taken on your paper towel challenge which has been a lot of fun. I used to buy a huge thing of paper towels every month and I have not had to buy one in 4 months. Thank you for all of your ideas and sharing your story. Your financial journey has been the biggest inspiration as we will be credit card free in 2010. So thank you!

  • Jennifer H. says:

    Wow, congratulations!!! You will be so very blessed because of the choices you have been making. What an example you’ve set for your children and others around you!

    We’ve started saving up for at least a 20% down payment and could reach 10% in the next month and we started 3 months ago. We probably won’t be buying for at least 1-2 years, so we can make huge progress until then! I’d love to pay even 50% down! My husband is entering the ministry and we are taking advantage of saving my salary while I’m still working since we don’t have children yet.

    I can’t wait to hear more about your story! I’d also love to hear where you put the house money while you worked toward your goal – CD, savings, market, etc. God Bless!

  • Cortney Tribu says:

    WOWOWOW Congratulations Crystal & Family!!!! That was a HUGE jump from last month – I can’t wait to see how you did it when you post later today! I also hope you will call in to Dave Ramsey and thank him for the additional inspiration he provided on your journey – I will be listening for it!! 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    Congratulations! You should be very proud of your accomplishment. I know it took a lot of dedication to get here, and I hope you and your hubby are very proud.

  • Anjanette says:

    I can’t wait to read the details today! I told my husband about your story and he’s eager to read, too. We live in the same area as you and have similar goals.

  • Karen says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! VERY PROUD OF YOU AND YOUR DETERMINATION! HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • Connie R. says:

    Praise God! I am so thrilled for your family. I actually had a tear running down my cheek when I read your post and I’ve never met you. Thank you for you example. May God guide you to the house he already has picked out for you. I know you will be a blessing to your neighbors.

  • Cindy says:

    I am so glad I found your website. We too are saving to pay cash to build our first home. We’ve been married for 9 years with many financial ups and downs. We have rented a home and lived in 2 mobile homes. (Yes, these were new m.h., and nice ones, but still temporary and never felt like home.)
    In the past few years, God has been more than good to us. We’ve saved up and bought a piece of property in the mountains for cash. Now, we are in the process of saving to build a small cabin for our permanent home. We are trying so hard to do this without taking out a loan. I am excited to share in your journey. By the end of this year, we are hoping to reach our goal as well. Praying that my husband’s job holds out.

  • Julie says:

    Congratulations Crystal!!!!!! I am soo thrilled for you and can’t wait to hear about the house you choose! This is such an inspiration and encouragment to me, maybe our debt free adoption can happen!!!!

  • Katie says:

    Congratulations! We just did our end-of-year budget assessment and planning for 2010 last night and are also amazed at the financial blessings God has poured out on us. May you continue to give generously from the abundance God has given you.

  • Teqiyya says:

    Congratulations Crystal, I am so happy that you guys have reached your goals. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  • CONGRATULATIONS!

    What an amazing (AMAZING) milestone! I can’t believe you were able to hit this goal in one year.

    I sit back daily and watch our dear Lord at work and it’s truly a wonderful thing. I pray you find the house of your dreams and fill it with lots of love and memories for years to come.

  • Judy says:

    Congrats Crystal!! What an encouragement you are to others! I wrote about you in my blog, because you are an inspiration!!!
    http://www.couponingfordeals.com/2009/12/need-some-financial-motivation-read.html

  • Jenn says:

    Congratulations!

  • kelly says:

    I just read your post to my 10 year old and we are both so proud of you. You inspire me to pay off my house as soon as I can. God Bless you and your family in the New Year!

  • kelly h says:

    This is incredible!! I am so grateful to you for sharing your journey with us. I have been following your blog for a long time, and I never had any doubt that you would someday reach your goal! Thanks for being such an inspration to us all!!!!! May God abundantly bless your new home!!

  • Michelle Tsao says:

    Crystal –
    I’ve been following you’re blog and couponing for about a year. !!Thank you!! for sharing your tips about couponing and ways to save money (Once a month cooking, links to other like bloggers (i.e the Frugal Fashionista), etc.) It has helped to inspire me and encourage me spiritually.

    Today I did a quick check on our finances and God is good!! This whole year the stock market has been more like a flea market. I didn’t think we would re-coup money that we lost in last year’s market crater, but, Praise God, through NO efforts on our own we are almost back to where we were. Also, we are paying as much extra on our mortgage as possible and I was really surprised and !!happy!! how well we’ve done in one year.

    This wouldn’t be possible for us if it wasn’t for your obedience to God about how to handle/manage money and SHARING your thoughts AND ENCOURAGMENT about how to do it.

    May God Bless You and your work!

  • Kelley says:

    Wow!! I’m so proud of you! I’ve been reading your blog and love it!!

  • Tracy says:

    Congratulations that is a HUGE accomplishment! I’m excited for you and your family! Now go enjoy your trip!

  • Deborah says:

    Congratulations!

    We, too, are celebrating the paying off of The School Bill this past fall. God is good!

    Looking forward to some big changes in 2010, too…

  • hehashelpedus says:

    First time reading your site and wow am I glad I did! I found out about you through Wise Bread. Anyways a huge huge congratulations to you and your family! God truly is the One to make dreams come true!

  • Rocio H. says:

    Congrats, you’ve inspired me to set some big goals for 2010.

  • LynB says:

    Gotta add my $.02 to the mix as well-

    I’ve only been couponing for just over a month and you’ve been a huge part of my success in that arena. You are a true inspiration to me. I don’t know how you do it, but you do, and I appreciate it all. I imagine you with a baby on one hip and a laptop on the other?!

    And now to find out you’ve been saving for your home too…AMAZING! Talk about stewardship…

    God IS good and may he continue to bless you and yours abundantly as you continue to praise him and spread his message of hope, faith, and love.

    P.S. I’m a REALTOR so I know just how remarkable a feat this is; I don’t often see a family purchase a home debt-free. Actually, I don’t think I EVER have. Congratulations again on such an awesome accomplishment!

  • Danielle Herrera says:

    Crystal you are truly an inspiration. After reading your story I went home last night and My fiancée and I sat down and wrote out our goals for 2010. We have two financial goals (one of which is to have a debt free wedding this October), two personal goals each and two household goals. I just wanted to share and thank you again for all your encouraging thoughts. I hope you and your family are enjoying your time down her in CA and that you have a very blessed New Year.

  • Sharon says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’ve been following your journey from the beginning and am thrilled to see you’ve accomplished your goal! PTL!!!

  • Julie R says:

    Congrats! PTL!

  • Alicia says:

    I don’t know why I just started crying but I’m so happy for you! What an inspiration! Congratulations.

  • Jessica says:

    I just want to tell you how proud of you all I am. I am a Mom about your age. I have a 12 week old and a 2 year old that are at home with my husband and I (no daycare). We went into debt right after I got out of college. After having my 2 little boys, I now have a new perspective on what matters. God has blessed us many times also. We have sold our house and are working to pay off all our debt to start over debt free. We live on a lot less so that we can keep our kids out of daycare. I still work. My husband makes a whole lot less money to work a schedule that allows our babies to be in our care. I just want to say that you really have a good perspective on things that I had to learn the hard way. God, family, how to make the most out of what you have, to be content…these are all such important values to have. Congratulations!

  • Blakely says:

    Congratulations!! What an amazing goal to set and to have reached.

  • Wow, what an awesome and inspiring story! God bless you on your exciting journey ahead!!

  • Marcy says:

    Congrats Crystal! What an awesome accomplishment. Have a great time on your trip – you guys deserve it! 🙂

  • Angela O says:

    Wonderful news, Crystal!!! We are thrilled for you!

  • sarah says:

    Praise the Lord! How wonderful to see God provide for your family in this spectacular way. God’s blessings on the new year!

  • Melinda says:

    Congratulations!!! That is wonderful— you are really inspiring!

  • Jerry says:

    Congratulations on your hard work and on your stewardship! It shows that diligence and obedience lead to success, and also gives others some insurance that it is possible to pay 100% down for a house. Way to go!
    Jerry

  • Heather says:

    WOW!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I would LOVE to hear you speak in real life!! You have such a testimony and you are an incredible inspiration!! THANK you for living your life faithful to God!!!!!

  • mary catherine says:

    I am in tears right now! I am so happy for you. I read your blog and it has helped me so much! My husband and I were married in October and with that I took on a lot of his debt. My goal is to be debt free my June. I have accepted God in my life a long time ago and I know that it is his mission for my husband and I to work together and eliminate this debt. Thank you for being a place to turn to when I am so stressed and tired and don’t think I can make it! You give me such hope.

  • Nikki says:

    How awesome!! I am anxious to read all about the journey.

  • Alison Armstrong says:

    Congratulations! Hope you find the house you have been dreaming about!

  • That is so incredibly awesome!!! I can’t wait to read more of the story. MAD RESPECT to you & your husband:)

  • Abra says:

    Congratulations! I remember following this goal with you in 2009. What an inspiration you are to me! I finally got my act together (with the help of Dave Ramsey) and will soon be debt free. Then, I want to start saving for a house, just as you all did. Can’t wait to read more of your story!

  • Rachelle says:

    You definitely should call in Dave’s show to let him know about this amazing milestone! He has so many debt-free calls that he seems to beg for other success stories!

    Can’t wait until we hit this goal too!

  • Jennifer says:

    Way to go Crystal! So proud of you, Jesse and the kids for your sacrifice, your leadership, and above all, your faith!

    Awesome! Happy New Year!

    Jennifer

  • Hannah says:

    I am catching up on my blog-reading….now, I’m celebrating with you! Praise God for His provision for your family.

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